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Orthodox Conundrum

Apr 18, 2023

With the terrible and heartbreaking news that came out of Israel over the course of Pesach - a mother and two children murdered by terrorists, a car ramming in Tel Aviv with an Italian tourist dead and others injured, plus rockets launched at Israel from Lebanon and Gaza - some have noted a disconnect between the attitudes of Jews who live in Israel, and those who live in the diaspora. The two groups sometimes seem to possess different mindsets - that is, very different ways of thinking about events like these. In particular, the heaviness that was widely experienced by Israeli Jews may have sometimes been lacking among some Jews outside of Israel.

Is this assumption accurate or misplaced? Furthermore, is Israel viewed, emotionally if not intellectually, as just another Jewish community like any other? Is the proximity and ease of getting to Israel and communicating with people in Israel a double-edged sword, taking away some of the mystery and sense of holiness that people otherwise would have? Moreover, what is the place of diaspora Jewry? Is their only role to pack up and move to Israel, or is there a need for Jewish communities to thrive outside of Israel? How can we better inculcate a sense of solidarity with Jews in Israel, and with what's happening in Israel? Is the emotional gap between Israelis and those outside of Israel destined to get larger or smaller?

To discuss these and other questions, Scott (who lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh) spoke with Rabbi Mark Wildes (who lives in New York). Their conversation will give you food for thought, especially as they draw upon their own life experiences to discuss the relationship between disapora Jews and Jews living in Israel.

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Music: "Happy Rock" by